Kashipur Wildlife Sanctuary, is the oldest protected area amongst the three areas of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, which was declared a wild life sanctuary in 1972, followed by Katerniaghat Wild Life Sanctuary in 1975, and finally the Dudhwa National Park declared as wild life sanctuary in 1977. Together, the three are sometimes erroneously referred by its most popular name, Dudhwa, although the three are distinctly different parks in close vicinity of one another, enjoying the same terai ecosystem with highly productive habitats of diverse flora and fauna and home to a large number of species.
The Dudhwa National Park is made up of rivers, shallow lakes known as 'taals' which provide adequate supplies of fresh water to the park throughout the year. As a result, the area boasts of lush green forests that support the diverse ecosystem. The river Sharda River kisses the boundary of Kishanpur Wild Life Sanctuary close by, while Geruwa, Suheli and Mohana streams, all tributaries of the Ghagra river, flow through the Park. Some of the important shallow lakes are Bankey Taal, Kakraha Taal and Amraha. The land is fertile and the Park is surrounded by rich farmlands yielding 3 to 4 crops in a year. The encroaching agricultural land, along with a railway track which runs through the park can be seen a major threats to the park in the future. At present, the only approach to the Park is by a dual bridge across the river Sharda which works as a common one way bridge for road as well as the railway track. Once the new bridge, presently under construction, is completed, the commercial traffic into the park will be affected further.
Flora and fauna
The forest of Dudhwa National Park is made up of North Indian Moist Deciduous type. Nearly 60 percent of forest is made up of Sal(Shorea Robusta) trees while the remaining part represents other varieties typical to the sub-Himalayan terrain.
The Park has a sizeable number of tigers and leopards, although the thick vegetation makes it difficult to spot one. The area once had a good number of Indian one horn rhinos which eventually fell to discriminate poaching. The Rhino, brought in from Assam's Kaziranga in 1984, have once again thrived in the park. As a major environmental success, the park now boasts of over 30 rhinos, which are very likely to be spotted on a safari on the elephant back. The park also has swamp deer also known as 'barasingha' locally, elephants, Sambar, Cheetal and Hog deers, monkeys, langurs porcupines and a host of other animals. Nearly 800 varieties of birds are found in the park, including the Great Pied Hornbill, Flycatchers, Kingfishers, Drongos etc. Water bodies in the park attract a number of migratory birds from September till march and the rivers support a rich variety of turtles, crocodiles and fish. Gangetic dolphin is reportedly found in the Geruwa river.
Temperature drops upto 2 degrees centigrade in winter and can be as high as 45 degrees centigrade in the peak of summer. The park has adequate rain fall and it is closed to visitors from mid June to Mid November for the rainy season.
The Park levies an entry fee of Rs. 50 for Indian visitors and Rs. 300 for foreign visitors for a period of 3 days. Additional fees are levied for each additional day. Vehicles are allowed into the park at a fee of Rs. 100. There are also fees for video cameras, while other cameras are allowed free. Separate fees are charged for each jeep as well as elephant safaris. The Park has very few hotels in close vicinity but the park offers a variety of acommodation of moderate standard in the park .
Private vehicles conforming to standards are allowed in the park. It is mandatory to take a certified Guide with you from the park for each visit. Vehicles (jeeps) are also available from the Main office for safaris in the morning and in the afternoon. From a point inside the park, morning and afternoon elephant safaris are also available.
Visits along various routes in the park can be fascinating. It is also mandatory to visit the various lakes or 'taals' located at vantage points. The elephant safari can also be a rewarding experience and is the best way to see the Rhino. While in the region, you can also visit the Kishanpur and the Katerniaghat Wild Life Sanctuaries situated nearby. A drive along the park to the end of Nepal border (Chandan Chowki) is also interesting.
The park offers a fascinating experience for nature lovers and photographers.
Local mementos such as hats, teeshirts and other tit-bits are on sale at a small shop near the entrance of the park. In winter, a visit to the nearby Palia town(10 km) can get you the usual local purchases.
The Park has only one canteen in the Main Office of the park, serving vegetarian food of reasonable quality at moderate prices. Orders have to be given in advance from the menu.
Only soft drinks are available.
The park offers a variety of accommodation including one Airconditioned Room and several huts, rooms and dormitory with different tariffs. Accommodation must be booked in advance from Lucknow at the office of the Chief Wildlife Warden Uttar Pradesh (tel. 0522-2206584).
A number of huts offer accommodation inside the park but without any food which has to be carried. As with most parks, entry can be made only within stipulated hours using a permissible vehicle. Entry on foot inside the park is strictly prohibited.
Beware of monkeys stealing food in the main office of the Park.